Oct 3, 2013
26.09.2013 - 13.10.2013
So it was up, bright and early again, to drive about 4 hrs or so back to the coast. Unfortunately, hubby decided to ignore the GPS and we ended up hitting construction in a few spots, adding probably 20 min to the drive and an accident on the highway slowing traffic for another 10 min, not to mention, according to the GPS, the other way was at least 30 min faster, so overall we wasted an hour.
Some interesting things we drove by on the way to the coast...(one was lots of dust...the wind was kicking up lots of dust from the empty fields, visibility at times like diving in a snowstorm!)...fields of cotton, tomatoes, oranges, lettuce, radish, oil derricks and some tumbleweeds! Very different scenery thru the interior...very dry. We drove thru the Lemoore and Coalinga area; instead of taking the 5 back up, we drove west to the 101. Some twisty roads as well.
We had booked a hotel (Comfort Inn - nice hotel! Well priced, quiet, clean) in Monterey the night before, when we determined that we would most likely, between all the driving and seeing the aquarium, would not start heading down the coast til the next day. But the hotel check in didn't start until 3 pm, and we were there around 2pm, so we just decided to head right to the Monterey Aquarium. We had admission included with our CityPass purchase. After a few attempts at finding the parking garage (so many one way or do not turn streets here), we parked and walked to the Aquarium. It is quite nice - watching the sea otters, really neat jellyfish display, lots of 'local' sea life, huge tanks with sharks and sting rays, touch tanks (but I didn't want to get slimy...shudder). We spent a few hours here, then decided to walk along the main street. Honestly, I was a bit underwhelmed - lots of tacky souvenir shops (and some nice ones as well). Some pricey restaurants...all in all it was only maybe 5 blocks long. Having pretty much skipped lunch, we decided to eat at Bubba Gump's (!) for supper. Some of the other restaurants seemed pretty pricey. Oh! Before I forget, in SF and also in Monterey, they have a Ghirardelli chocolate store (they were, not sure if they still are, made in SF...and we were walking towards the old factory when we were in SF, but it was getting cold, and we were hungry, so we went the other way)...OK, they had $10 ice cream sundaes!!! Wow, I mean, I like ice cream, but geez! Anyhoo, at Bubbas I had fish and chips and a lovely blueberry lemonade (so sweet) and Darrin had an onion ring barbeque hamburger. A lovely view of the waterfront, but a very LOUD restaurant - the music is so loud you can barely think...not sure why they do that in restaurants - maybe I'm just old and cranky. And we passed (mostly) the Forrest Gump quiz the waitress gave us - Darrin was pretty good!
It was getting late so we decided to just head to the hotel to relax and watch TV. We did drive by the Fisherman's Wharf area, but decided to pass on it the next day - more shops and restaurants. We did pick up some salt water taffy at one of the stores downtown, as well as a few gifts for us at a shop that sold a lot of tea and kitchen goods.